February 23, 2008


During Lent in 2007 the Beanery Online Literary Magazine, in conjunction with the Open Hands Ministries (a web site for the Open Hands and the United Methodist Churches in the Ligonier Valley, PA) posted forty days of Lent devotions. This year, I will repost one every five days, with links to additional devotions at the end of each reading.

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 46:4 Even in your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. (NIV)

DEVOTION: I look in the mirror and see yet another gray hair, and I quickly grab an old towel and my bottle of age-fixator. Then I apply the hair coloring. Never let it be said that I am getting old!

Given the sales of youth-enhancers, members of our aging society are being dragged into seniority fighting and kicking. According to my friend Norma, in our national fixation with staying forever young, death may soon be described as “living impaired.”

Our society emphasizes youth to the point that old people, no longer worthy of respect, are shoved on a shelf and hidden out of sight, perhaps so they don’t remind the upcoming generations that they too are on a journey to senior-citizenship.

Perhaps this disrespect for the aged is stronger in current times because we are “progressing” so fast it’s a struggle even for the young and the swift to keep up. Our communication product purchases were obsolete at least a year ago. Furthermore, we live in a disposable society where only newness is valued.

Do we therefore devalue the accrued wisdom of the aging population?

Norma’s description of death is apt. Perhaps, though, she didn’t go far enough. Perhaps even approaching senior citizenship qualifies one for being “living impaired.”

Scripture offers a different viewpoint. Isaiah shouts that God will sustain us, even unto our gray hairs. “I have made you and I will sustain you and I will rescue you,”
Isaiah 46:5 states.

So I pray for each graying person out there, that God will sustain you in your senior years, making you worthy of the respect you deserve. May you continue on in life, offering something that youth cannot give: a timeless wisdom accumulated through multiple decades of living that supersedes modern-day “progress.”

Prayer: May the blessings of God flow down on you as your hair grays, your hearing decreases and your vision diminishes. May your wisdom be a legacy to younger generation. Amen.

This Blog Post has been read 17 times.
Comment by CatherineYen: I found the new gray hair occasionally since the age is there, I nurture my mind and spirits in art, music, unbeatable passion to serve people and help the artists…gray hair is actually nothing. Love to read your article, my name is Catherine Yen, the blogger too.


  1. When I write about fertility, I notice many women are doing what men have done since the beginning of time. They are having babies until they can’t have them. Naturally, women can have babies until the age of 55 if their FSH levels are fine and no doctor has given them a hysterectomy and they have taken care of themselves. But now women are pushing the envelope. They think they will live until 80 or 90 years old, and they are active, so they are having babies into their 60’s with medical help. While people look on with bemusement, amusement, or just plain baffled, women are having babies when they are considered way too old for such. Oh, and 1/4 of all women in the US have hysterectomies. Very few have cancer. And women in third world countries have a much lower rate of breast cancer, but they don’t wear bras. What to do in this world when answers are in front of our nose but we live with a paradigm of expectancy? Especially when it is the expectancy that we did not dream up ourselves but surrounds us? Grey hair is a sign of thyroid dysfunction, and when I started drinking alkaline water, the few grey hairs I had either fell out or regained color. My vision did not worsen and I don’t use a color for my hair.

    Comment by Charlotte Fairchild — August 28, 2008 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  2. The August 22nd newspaper had two blurbs. In Italy, a 55-year old Indian woman gave birth to quadruplets after artificial insemination. The second, in Japan, was a 61-year old woman who birthed a surrogate child, a child created using the egg of her daughter (who has no uterus), and sperm from her son-in-law. Extreme cases in today’s society—yet extreme cases have a way of becoming the norm.

    Age may not be a factor in a woman’s number of years—16-year mothers die in auto accidents while the 61-year old mother may live 30 or even more years.

    However, there is the massive generation gaps to deal with. Mothers having children at a young age are experiencing this gap due to the rapidity of cultural change. The older parent is four to five decades further removed from the current society. Should this be a consideration?

    Comment by carolyncholland — August 29, 2008 @ 2:39 am | Reply

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